Rajkot-based Champion Agro Limited on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with DripTech of USA. Post the MoU, Champion Agro will be able to further build on its own innovative practices and leverage DripTech's globally acknowledged expertise, for the benefit of farmers.
What's more, according to Dhirajlal Hirpara, CMD, Champion Agro, the company will pioneer the usage of extremely affordable and water efficient irrigation systems designed for farmers. DripTech is an international water technologies company based in Silicon Valley, with offices in Pune and Beijing. It produces affordable, high-quality irrigation systems designed for small-plot farmers.
"The MoU is a handshake of two dynamic pioneers – Champion Agro and DripTech. While Champion is a pioneer is agri-retail, DripTech is globally known renowned for irrigation technology. The technology will require lesser labor, is highly water efficient and provides affordable irrigation solutions for farmers, while reducing dependence on wasteful flood irrigation and rainfall. It will boost yields by 20–50 per cent and is easy to install and maintain. The trials have been successful and received a very positive response from the farmers," said Hirpara.
Having introduced the concept of Agro retail malls in Gujarat, it has set up 34 agro clinics within a span of only three years. Apart from agro retail malls, the company deals in contract and lease farming, green houses, cattle feed, fresh & processed fruits and vegetables, among other things.
"The irrigation technology is beneficial to humanity at large, since it addresses the core concerns of improving food security and protecting water resources. The simplicity of the design reduces its cost to less than half of commercial drip irrigation system. We are sure that the technology will receive a great response from farmers and in turn, result in benefits for them. Additional benefits to farmers include less labor, less fertilizer and higher crop quality," said Peter Frykman, MD, DripTech.
According to Shamender Sharma, Chief operating Officer, Champion Agro, with the company having main operations in the Saurashtra (Gujarat), which is mainly rain fed area and requires a very high level of optimization of scarce water resources, the tie up will help in improving the situation so farmers can use their water resources for longer period and can have enhanced yield. "Using the DripTech technology, drip tech becomes highly useful and affordable for the these small and marginal farmers; costing just 30-35 per cent of the high tech drip system," Sharma added.
Meanwhile, under contract farming, the company has initiated projects for cultivation of baby corn, banana, pomegranate, various other horticulture products along with wheat and oilseed. Moving up the value chain, the company has also ventured into processing of fresh fruits and vegetables with its brand 'Champion Fresh' along with the contract farming and horticulture parks. Also, the company is planning aggressive expansion with setting up of cold chains in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, and tie-ups with state governments for setting up vast green house projects all over India.